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Passing off: NGRS. v Bee Moved

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Jane Lambert
Court of Appeal (Lady Justice Asplin and Lord Justice Kitchin)  The National Guild of Removers & Storers Ltd v Bee Moved Ltd and others [2018] EWCA Civ 1302 12 June 2018
This was an appeal from the decision of Mr Recorder Campbell QC in The National Guild of Removers And Storers Ltd v Bee Moved Ltd and others [2016] EWHC 3192 (IPEC) (13 Dec 2016) which was an action for passing off.  The appeal was over what constitutes a misrepresentation for the purposes of passing off and whether new evidence should be allowed on appeal.
The claimant company was described by Lady Justice Asplin as "a trade body which represents and provides services to its members in the removal and storage business".  Storage and removal companies that pay its fees and abide by its rules can describe themselves as a "member of the NGRS."  Those that cease to do so may no longer to hold themselves as members. They must remove all references to the Guild from their websites, adver…

Brexit Briefing - May 2018

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Jane Lambert
Not a lot of progress since my last Brexit Briefing in April. A little bit more of the draft withdrawal agreement has turned from white or amber to green but there has been no progress on the stumbling blocks of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic or the governance of the withdrawal agreement (or any other agreement between Britain and the EU). Without such agreement there can be no withdrawal agreement and hence no implementation or transition period.

The problem for the government is that maintaining a control free border means accepting at least some of the disciplines of the EU which in turn means abandoning dreams of an independent trade policy. However, if Ed Balls and Peter Sands are right the benefits of having an independent trade policy are pretty illusory (see What Sort of Trade Deal (if any) could the UK negotiate with the USA?8 June 2018).

I am increasingly of the view that there will be no withdrawal agreement by 29 March 2019 and that busin…

How the Trade Secrets Directive affects Inventors

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Since all patented inventions start out as trade secrets and many other inventions remain that way for various reasons, the implementation of Directive 2016/943 ("the Trade Secrets Directive") is an important day for inventors in the UK and throughout the rest of the EU. More

Transposing the Trade Secrets Directive into English Law: The Trade Secrets (Enforcement etc) Regulations

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Jane Lambert

Art 19 (1) of Directive (EU) 2016/943 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2016 on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure ("the trade secrets directive")requires each and every member state of the EU (including the UK for the time being) to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with that directive by 9 June 2018. Accordingly, Mr Sam Gyimah MP, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has signed The Trade Secrets (Enforcement, etc.) Regulations SI 2018 No 597 ("the regulations") which will come into force on that day.

Overview of the Regulations
The regulations so not purport to transpose the whole directive into English law. The statutory instrument consists of 19 regulations most of which relate to time limits, court procedur…

Brexit Briefing - April 2018

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Jane Lambert

A rather more interesting Brexit Briefing this month because the UK has ratified the Unified Patent Court Agreement.  The article sets out the background to ratification and considers whether it will make a difference. 

Also discussed are the proposals to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland and indications that HMG will accept the backstop arrangements for birder checks between Great Britain and both parts of the island of Ireland set out in the draft withdrawal agreement notwithstanding political and constitutional challenges to which that could lead.

Finally, there is the agenda for discussions on the future partnership between the UK and EU after Brexit which would include services and some encouraging remarks about the city of London from Monsieur Barnier at the Eurofi High Level Seminar in Sofia on 26 April 2018.

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Happy World Intellectual Property Day

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Jane Lambert

Today is World Intellectual Property Day. It commemorates the day on which the day in 1970 on which the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") came into force. Since the day has been marked by events around the world to promote awareness of intellectual property.

Most of those events follow a common theme.  This year's theme is Powering change: Women in innovation and creativityThe WIPO website explains:

"Every day women come up with game-changing inventions and life-enhancing creations that transform lives and advance human understanding from astrophysics to nanotechnology and from medicine to artificial intelligence and robotics.

And in the creative sphere, whether in the movies, animation, music, fashion, design, sculpture, dance, literature, art and more, women are re-imagining culture, testing the limits of artistry and creative expression, drawing us into new worlds of experience and understanding.

The imp…

FRAND - Conversant Wireless Licensing v Huawei and Another

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Jane Lambert

Patents Court (Mr Justice Henry Carr) Conversant Wireless Licensing SARL v Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd and others [2018] EWHC 808 (Pat)

Although the precise relief sought in these proceedings is not mentioned in this judgment, it must have been a strike out or stay of a claim for patent infringement.  The applicants were the Chinese companies, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. ("Huawei") and the ZTE Corporation ("ZTE") and their respective British subsidiaries which are defendants to a claim by Conversant Wireless Licensing S.A.R.L ("Conversant") for patent infringement.

The patents alleged to have been infringed are part of a worldwide portfolio that Conversant has offered to license on FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms. I discussed such licences in FRANDon8 Oct 2017 and FRAND - a Postcripton 16 Jan 2018. Huawei and ZTE have not yet taken up Conversant's offer.  They  dispute the validity of Conversant's patents. They d…